Fall comes with vibrant autumn colors and perfect temperatures ideal for outdoor gatherings. Fall is also a sign that winter is coming. As winter looms, the biggest concern for the homeowners should be the freezing temperatures, the ice, and the potential damage to their plumbing systems.
The fall is the time for homeowners to prepare for the drastic dip in temperature because if they are not ready, it can ruin their plumbing. Keeping up with the basics of seasonal plumbing should be as critical as switching wardrobes as the seasons change.
Homeowners must then put a plan in place and implement a list of fall plumbing tips just so that they are not caught off-guard as the season changes.
In this article, we will be discussing the different fall plumbing tips helpful for various areas of the home.
You’ll need to do the following around the yard.
Disconnect All the Water Pipes
Homeowners should remove their water hoses from all fixtures during the fall before they freeze. The hoses should be kept clear of water and stored in the basement because a frozen hose could potentially damage pipes, faucets and could even lead to bursting.
Shut Off All Outside Faucet Valves
The basics of house plumbing dictate that the homeowner must be able to locate their water shut-off valve. Homeowners with outdoor spigots should shut off the valves. Failure to do so will leave water dripping or leaking from the faucets. When temperatures freeze, the dripping water could freeze and burst the pipes leading to damages.
Downspouts and Gutter Cleanouts
Homeowners must ensure that their gutters are clear, clean, and ready to collect and drain water during the fall. This is essential because it will eventually freeze if the water does not drain and collects somewhere on the roof. The freezing water will ultimately cause roof damage, breakages, and more.
Fall is the time when most trees shed their leaves. Some of this debris may get into your gutter and make draining a little strenuous. It’s therefore essential that homeowners use the gutter shovel to get all the debris and leaves out for easier draining.
Cover All Faucets and Insulate Them
All pipes and faucets facing outside must be covered to insulate them from the bitter cold. If or when the pipes or faucets are exposed to the decreasing temperatures during winter, they pose a plumbing risk where they could easily break, leading to either flooding or other plumbing risks and nightmares.
In the unheated parts of the interior, including the garage, you’ll need to do the following.
Check All Indoor Plumbing Fixtures and Faucets
It’s essential to check all the faucets and plumbing fixtures like showerheads, sinks, and toilets for leaks and get the faulty ones repaired in the fall. Failure to do so may lead to more damage during the winter and cost more in repairs.
Inspect the Garage for Flood Points, Potential Leaks, and Gutter Overflow
In homes where the gutters flow through the garage, the homeowners must check for leaky points that may hoard water. This is because water expands when it begins to freeze and could cause a lot of damage like busted pipes. The collected or the accumulated water could also create a catastrophic slipping hazard in the garage. This is fundamentally the first line of defense in preventing pipes from freezing before they do.
Cover or Insulate Exposed Pipes in Non-Heated Areas Like the Garage
Typically, people insulate and cover the exposed pipes in the yard and forget that even those in the garage and under the porch are also as vulnerable and exposed as the ones outside. Leaving these pipes un-insulated and exposed could lead to busted pipes.
A busted pipe means serious trouble for the home’s plumbing. It’s therefore crucial that the homeowner understands the importance of heating or covering all the pipes in the unheated parts of the house, be it outside or inside. The homeowner could cover them or use an isolation kit to heat the pipes.
In the basement, you need to do the following.
Inspect and Clean the Water Heater
The homeowner can keep the heating system safe as it gets colder by ensuring that it’s clean, clear, and running before winter sets in. Keeping the heater safe means flushing it to get rid of any sediments that may have stockpiled at the bottom of the heater.
Draining the water heater, especially for those people that use hard water, prevents both rust and sediment build-up. Before cleaning, shut off both the water supply valve and the power supply. Connect a hose to the drain valve and run it to the nearest drain to drain it. This enhances the heater’s heating efficiency and lengthens its lifetime.
If your water heater has been operational for more than ten years, the fall is the perfect time to replace it.
Check on Your Sump Pump Cleanliness and Functionality
Just like the heater, it’s critical to prepare the sump pump during the fall. Cleaning and thoroughly inspecting it ensures its long-term functioning. The water in the discharge line must also be thoroughly drained to circumvent flooding, which would otherwise cost significant money in repairs.
Leaving the sump pump exposed to the cold, extreme winter weather can freeze it hampering its operational ability.
Pour in a bucket full of water and watch to see if it turns on and drains the water. If the sump pump isn’t working correctly, there will be dampness on the floor and foul odors coming from the pump. The risk of freezing is also high if the sump pipe has a leak or is damaged.
Why It Is Essential to Winterize Your Home’s Plumbing During Fall
These fall plumbing tips are the primary routine initiatives that the homeowner should undertake before winter. They say prevention is better than cure; implementing the above plumbing tips during the fall keeps you safe from potential plumbing problems during the winter and the seasons to come and saves you great amounts of money in repairs and replacements over time.
Despite the hot summers in Boston, MA, all the way down the Cape, winter nights can get quite cold and uncomfortable due to being so close to the water. We at Blue Bear Plumbing have been in business since 2007 and know how to set our customers up with long-term solutions to their home’s plumbing needs. We’re proud to maintain an A+ rating with the BBB, and our work is backed with a quality warranty. Our plumbers are fully licensed and are willing to go the extra mile to meet our client’s individual needs. In addition to our wide array of plumbing services, we also specialize in HVAC repair, replacement, maintenance, and installation services. Better yet, we offer 24/7 repair availability in case a problem arises, and you need immediate support. Whether you want to schedule an appointment, or simply learn more about our services, give us a call today.